Syria, Russia accuse Israel over strike on Syrian air base


A missile attack on a Syrian military airport left several dead and wounded, state media said Monday, after the USA warned Damascus and its allies over an earlier suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held town.

The Syrian state broadcaster said there were several dead and wounded in the strike.

Pentagon officials say there is no truth to reports that the US has launched an attack against Assad bases in Syria, Wall Street Journal's Dion Nissenbaum said in tweet.

Interfax news agency cited the Russian Defence Ministry as saying Syrian air defence systems had shot down five of eight missiles fired. When asked by interviewers what Israel's interest in such an attack was, Ben Eliyahu said that it was part of the ongoing efforts to prevent Iran from establishing a base in Syria. Gen. Yuri Yevtushenko said the reports of a chemical attack were "fabricated".

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitor, said at least 14 people were killed including some fighters of various nationalities.

On Sunday, President Donald Trump warned the Syrian government it would pay a "big price" for the suspected chemical weapons attack.

The Pentagon said: "The Department of Defense is not conducting air strikes in Syria".

The medical relief organization Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and the civil defense service, which operates in rebel-held areas, said in a joint statement 49 people had been killed in the suspected gas attack.

"Without any grounds and without thinking about the consequences, the governments of the US, the United Kingdom, and France are pursuing a confrontational policy towards Russia and Syria and are pushing the others toward this", Nebenzya was quoted as saying by Russian state-run news agency TASS.

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"There was no chemical-weapons attack", Nebenzya said, adding that Syria and Russian Federation had invited the global chemical-weapons watchdog to inspect the site. The alleged attack in Douma occurred Saturday night amid a resumed offensive by Syrian government forces after the collapse of a truce.

Affected Syrian kids wait to receive medical treatment after Assad regime forces allegedly conducted poisonous gas attack to Duma town of Eastern Ghouta in Damascus.

Israel military, which already bombed the T-4 airbase in February, refused to give any comments to Sputnik about the airstrike on the facility.

Trump referred in a Tweet to "Animal Assad" and criticised Russia and Iran for backing the Syrian leader, directly naming Russian President Vladimir Putin. "And I think President Trump made that very clear early in his administration".

In response, the Trump administration ordered the the launch of a barrage of Tomahawk cruise missiles against a Syrian airbase, marking the first time the USA had directly targeted the Syrian regime since the start of the country's civil war in 2011.

It is believed the strikes are in response to an alleged chemical gas attack on Saturday.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said Assad's government and its backers, including Russian Federation, "must be held to account" if it is found to have been responsible for the suspected poison gas attack.

In April 2017, Trump ordered a strike on another Syrian air base, Shayrat, 70 kilometers (45 miles) west of T4, following similar allegations that Assad had used banned chemicals on civilians. The European Union also said evidence pointed to the use of chemical weapons by Assad's forces.